Dream Diver: Slot Overview
They say the average human being, if there is such a thing, spends around a third of their life between the sheets sleeping. That is a big chunk of time doing little more than staring at our eyelids. Then again, we get to visit our personal dreamlands where anything can happen. Isn’t it funny? No matter how strange dreams are, we never really question them or think we are dreaming. Instead, we go along with whatever bizarre sequence of events is playing out over the screen of our minds. It is the world of the unconscious we’re pulled to in ELK Studios‘ uniquely designed slot Dream Diver.
Dream Diver starts innocently enough. A 5-reel, 178-payline game grid is located where dreams usually occur, in a bedroom, where a red attired man with fluffy grey hair and moustache lies slumbering by a grinning kitty. The rest of the equally odd room is designed in full 1970s kitsch – picture big fonted, bold coloured, Yellow Submarine-style where everything is all peace, love and harmony. There’s also a strong dose of psychedelia, though this is primarily expressed during the bonus round. For now, the trip has only just begun and barely hints at the madness to come. Already though, the game displays a unique personality, helped along as ever, by the excellent audio effects team ELK has.
Dream Diver offers stakes from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin and is available on any device. Offering 178 connecting pay ways to win, you’ll need three or more matching symbols to land left to right across them. Dream Diver isn’t as high powered as the slots we’ve seen from ELK recently. Instead, it takes a step back, relying on a math model that feels more like old-school ELK.
Medium volatile and offering an RTP coming in at 95.0%, the paytable is made up of classic slot symbols with a 70s bent, starting with cherries, oranges, plums, and green apples as the lower value icons. On the more valuable side are three premium symbols – bells, sevens, and diamonds. Landing a five of a kind win of high pays generates a payout of 3 to 25 times your stake. The smiling grey cat returns as the regular wild symbol. This one lands in 1×1 size to replace any other symbol except the Pick Me tile to complete wins.
Dream Diver: Slot Features
Dream Diver’s central feature is a pick me bonus round where the goal is collecting prizes and multipliers while trying not to wake the dreamer. While in the base game, players also benefit from stacked wild respins.
As well as the regular wild is a full reel stacked wild appearing on reels 2-4. Landing 1 or more stacked wilds triggers the Stacked Wilds Respin feature. Stacked wilds are nudged to cover the entire reel, and 1 respin is awarded. If an additional stacked wild lands, it triggers another respin. During respins, stacked wilds are sticky.
Landing 3 Dream Diver bonus symbols on the middle three reels triggers the Pick Me feature. Players click one of the bonus symbols to reveal either an instant cash win or trigger the Pick ‘n’ Click bonus game.
The bonus game consists of 6 levels – 5 with Pick ‘n’ Click objects, the 6th one is a Dream Wheel Level. Starting at level 1, players click objects on-screen one at a time to reveal either monetary rewards, a multiplier, a heart which awards an extra life, a clock which ends the bonus game (or removes one heart), or a ‘Next’ icon that moves play to the next level.
If a clock symbol ends the round, the prize value is multiplied by the current level multiplier and awarded, then players return to the base game. If you manage to make it all the way to the Dream Wheel level, a clock spins, awarding two more multipliers which are added to the multiplier accrued so far. This value is applied to the prize, and the round ends. It might sound basic on paper, but it is pretty trippy in action.
Dream Diver also comes with ELK’s X-iter bonus buy features, offering 5 different modes:
- X-iter 1 – guarantees a winning game round at the cost of 5x the bet.
- X-iter 2 – guarantees 3 spins with at least one stacked wild symbol triggering the Stacked Wild Respin Feature on each spin for 25x the bet.
- X-iter 3 – triggers the bonus game for 100x the bet.
- X-iter 4 – triggers the bonus game with a larger starting prize value for 200x the bet.
- X-citer 5 – triggers a bonus game that is guaranteed to reach the Dream Wheel for 500x the bet.
Dream Diver: Slot Verdict
After games like Cluster Slide, Tropicool, and now Dream Diver, the ELK team continues to unleash their creative side, and there is no way of knowing where the team will lead players next. Dream Diver is their most psychedelic one so far and a highly entertaining experience; however, not one without a few things to consider before leaping headfirst into.
The positive aspects of Dream Diver include a totally immersive world like nothing else seen in a slot before. It whisks you back to the 70s, where certain substances were perceived as experimental conscious expanding tools and creativity flourished. The bonus round is like one of those animated sequences in Monty Python and the Flying Circus that leaves you grasping for something familiar to anchor your psyche to once it’s over. Both visually and audibly, Dream Diver is a unique experience worth investigating, if nothing else to peer into ELK’s subconscious.
After a while, there is a chance the initial wonderment wears off, especially if you’ve been burned a few times in weak bonus rounds. There are a couple of ways of this happening. One is by hitting the pesky alarm clock on a lower level to end a bonus round early, or getting all the way through to the Dream Wheel and building a decent multiplier but not having much of a prize to apply it to. This was a regular occurrence with the Super Bonus, which generated the biggest fun factor since you can happily click through each of the levels, knowing you’ll make it to the Dream Wheel. However, it isn’t cheap, and despite producing the biggest wins during testing, it rarely broke even. Without its safety guarantee, however, it was exceptionally difficult to make it far through the other bonus rounds. At best, it is possible to win 2,500 times your stake.
Dream Diver is a unique game which is worth a demo to experience each of its trippy bonus levels for a laugh or two. When playing for real, try not to be drawn in by Dream Diver’s happy go lucky, friendly vibe. Underneath the 1970s, we’re all brothers and sisters’ attitude; the game is totally business, meaning it can reward or frustrate like any other.
Dream Diver may be one of the most unusual slots out there with a singularly psychedelic bonus round, that does enough to avoid hitting the snooze button for more casual minded gamblers.